SFIA Opens Registration for 3rd Annual Start-Up Challenge


Under Armour Innovation Team to Host Winner at Global Headquarters

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 13, 2018) – The SFIA Start-Up Challenge returns for the third consecutive year at SFIA’s annual Industry Leaders Summit on September 26, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. This competition, which garners national attention, has created an unparalleled opportunity for start-ups in the sports and fitness industry. Five innovative companies will be selected to compete on the big stage, as they present in front of a judging panel of the industry’s leading executives, retailers, investors and brands. In the past two years, SFIA has received hundreds of applications from start-ups worldwide. The 10 finalists from the two previous years have raised more than $120 million in venture funding.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring back the Start-Up Challenge again this year,” said John Peters, SFIA Vice President of Business Development. “The Challenge has seen some of the most innovative companies out there today and that’s evident by the remarkable amount of funding they’ve secured. We have a unique collection of brand and retail executives, as well as investors who are ready to deploy capital. We think that creates a very compelling stage for any start-up trying to gain traction.”  

New to this year’s grand prize, SFIA is announcing the Start-Up Challenge winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to visit with the Under Armour Innovation Team at the Under Armour Global Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, where they will have the opportunity to spend a full day with the team brainstorming, discussing and learning about best practices for future success of their company.

“Given the continued support SFIA has shown the sports start-up community, I am looking forward to judging what is sure to be a diverse and remarkably strong display of innovation,” said Lorin Hamlin, Head of Innovation Partnerships for Under Armour. “Under Armour has been involved with the SFIA Start-Up Challenge since inception and looks forward to giving back to the start-up community by hosting the 2018 winner at our brand headquarters.”

In addition, the winner will receive a free year of SFIA membership, complimentary registration for the 2019 Industry Leaders Summit and the opportunity to be included in 2019’s Start-Up Challenge marketing video. All five finalists will reap great benefit by participating in the Start-Up Challenge. In addition to receiving individual presentation time in front of the entire Summit audience, which largely consists of C-level executives, the finalists will also be addressing a carefully-selected panel of judges, comprised of investors, industry experts and major retailers.


 The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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